05:06 GMT +3 hours28 May 2016
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US Officials Have No Choice but to Admit Russia’s Successes in Syria

Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation
Middle East
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As the Russian anti-terror campaign in Syria enters its fourth month, US officials have been forced to admit that Moscow knows what it is doing, after all.

Throughout Russia’s bombing campaign, beginning September 30, Western media and political leaders have been highly critical of the Kremlin’s strategy for eliminating Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State.

"An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won’t work," US President Barack Obama said on October 2, according to Reuters.

Now, with Russian airstrikes having an undeniable effect on the terrorist group, American officials are reluctantly admitting that Moscow is achieving its goals in the Syrian conflict.

"The Russian’s didn’t go blindly into this," one US intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters, adding that they "are getting some benefit out of the cost."

As evidence, officials point out that Russia has suffered minimal casualties, despite carrying out 5,240 sorties since the beginning of the campaign. They note that the estimated cost to the Kremlin is a relatively modest $1-2 billion per year, falling well within Russia’s $54 billion annual defense budget.

"All the available data shows us that the current level of military effort is completely insignificant for the Russian economy and Russian budget," Vasily Kashin, an analyst with the Center for Analyses of Strategies and Technologies, told Reuters.

"It can be carried on at the same level year after year after year."

As Jason Ditz points out in AntiWar, the confessions of Western skeptics prove how effective Russia’s airstrikes have been.

"This is an incredible admission for US officials, even if given anonymously," Ditz writes, "as Russia’s only been engaged in the war for three months."

Over the weekend, Russian combat aircraft carried out 164 sorties, destroying 556 terrorist targets. Moscow has also begun assisting Syrian opposition forces against Daesh.

"With the support of the Russian aviation group, the Syrian Democratic Forces’ units…are conducting an offensive on the Daesh capital, the city of Raqqa," Lt.-Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told reporters on Monday.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon released a report showing that Washington is astonished by Moscow’s naval capabilities.

"Russia has begun, and over the next decade will make large strides in fielding a 21st century navy capable of a dependable national defense [and] an impressive but limited presence in more distant global areas of interests…" reads the report.

Authored by George Fedoroff of the US Office of Naval Intelligence, the study is based largely on the successful launching of cruise missiles from Russian warships stationed in the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean.

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Tags:
Russian airstrikes, anti-terror campaign, Pentagon, Vasily Kashin, Barack Obama, Jason Ditz, Syria, Russia, United States
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  • Delusional Americans :)
  • anne00marie
    Aren't the US also using the images of the Russian strikes, that are posted after they carry out the sorties? Claiming them for themselves?
  • Bob Hoferer
    Good going Russia. Keep up the good work.
  • ivanwa88
    Jere you are referring to the terrorists yes they are civilians by the fact they don't belong to an army of a sovereign country. See you are so clever not!
  • chang_ba
    Reuters, AP and other Western news agencies maintain almost complete media silence on the Russian campaign in Syria. All we get to hear are accusations of civilian casualties, supposedly caused by outdated weaponry and WWII strategies, and of forged video material. It's clear the NATO bloc does not want Russia to succeed, and won't acknowledge any progress against the terrorists if it means giving president Putin any credit. The UN ceasefire to begin in the new year is a trap for Russia and Assad's forces, as Daesh and the al-Nusra front will not be bound by it.
  • kbrons85
    As much as I like the Russian people and respect the culture, I have a difficult time as an American respecting the government of Russia. The only thing propping up this economy is natural gas. The economy will see a down fall in 2016 due to the falling oil prices. Many Americans on the right agree with Putin on a lot of issues, but the Russian media and government (which mine as well be one government run entity) constantly pits Americans as capitalist, imperialist bullies. I would challenge Russians who live in Russia to ask their fellow Russians who have moved to the US whether they feel the same about Americans.
  • Mark Gewiss, Take "" off. I lost you. What?
  • Mark Gewiss,

    www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-syria-idUSKBN0UB0BA20151229

    "The Russians didn't go blindly into this," said the U.S. intelligence official, adding that they "are getting some benefit out of the cost."

    QUAGMIRE?

    Russia's intervention also appears to have strengthened its hand at the negotiating table. In recent weeks, Washington has engaged more closely with Russia in seeking a settlement to the war and backed off a demand for the immediate departure of Assad as part of any political transition.

    3 days ago.
  • Mark Gewissin reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, You are right! It is still propaganda - because it is anonymous! - but I apologize... and will rewrite or remove my original comment. mg
  • Mark Gewiss
    Note: After reading Sputnik reader "Vendor's" above clarifications I removed two comments I earlier made questioning the source of an anonymous quote in this article coming from Reuters. My lame excuse is that google didn't lead me there when I conducted my search but instead kept leading me to sites looping back to Sputniknews.
  • in reply toMark Gewiss(Show commentHide comment)
    Mark Gewiss, That's OK mate. Any anonymous source could be anything anyone wants.
  • earlw35
    Jealousy, that's what's at play here, the US own strategy in Syria is failing, Obozo doesn't want to admit it.
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